44 JANUARY 2 0 1 9 FOOD + DRINK
BY ALLISON KRIDLE
Living in one of the most diverse cities in the world makes
it hard to resist the temptation of takeout. All the dining
options feel overwhelming, and ordering Seamless is pricey
— not to mention takeout food doesn’t seem to ever make
you feel good. You could cook, but that takes time out of
the night when you don’t wish to lift another finger after
work and the decision itself sets you back.
If you are familiar with these struggles,
we may have found a solution: food
prepping. As the founder of the meal
prepping blog and Instagram called
Workweek Lunch, Astorian Talia Koren
faced the same dilemmas once
upon a time until she started cooking
and established her own business.
“I started Workweek Lunch because I
was bringing my food to work every day
and my coworkers made fun of me, but
then they were like ‘How do you do that?’”
Koren said. “I was known as the healthy
girl in the office. I just didn't want to spend
money on takeout. It was never a health
thing for me; it was always a money thing
Similar to many New Yorkers, Koren
knew that she shouldn’t (and couldn’t) afford
to spend money on food every day
while remaining independent and paying
rent and bills. She quickly took to the craft of
cooking and developed recipes. She became
skilled enough to start a blog and an Instagram
and gained over 170,000 followers in
less than two years.
“I intentionally started my blog to create
a business, but I didn’t know it would turn
into my full-time business. I’m happy
recipe developing in my tiny kitchen and
Instagramming for myself,” Koren said.
The Workweek Lunch Instagram overflows
with pictures of vibrant meals and tips on how
to make them. Koren concocts and presents
recipes such as tomato, sausage and orzo
skillet; kale, quinoa and butternut squash salad;
and tofu Thai bowls with snap peas, carrots,
cabbage and homemade peanut sauce.
Koren also includes preferred packaged
snacks (Kikkerland trail mix and Breakstone’s
cottage cheese) as well as homemade snacks
like granola and cookies. She never hesitates
to throw in a juicy apple or ripe banana either.
“Now that I offer meal prep programs, I always
have to think about what’s next; what do
I have to make next week or the week after?
So it’s like, what have I not done already? I
think about the core elements: carbs, protein,
vegetables. Those three elements are always
in my meals, unless it’s breakfast, when I do
fruit,” Koren said.